Abortion-rights activists renew battle in Argentina

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Pro-choice activists carry a statue of the Virgin Mary which features a green handkerchief symbolizing the abortion rights movement in Argentina during a rally outside Congress in favor of legalizing abortion in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Lawmakers said they would introduce a bill to legalize abortion for pregnancies up to 14 weeks. (AP Photo/Marcos Brindicci)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine activists launched a renewed effort Tuesday seeking to legalize elective abortions in the homeland of Pope Francis after narrowly falling short last year.

Lawmakers said they would introduce a bill that would legalize abortion for pregnancies up to 14 weeks. A similar measure last year passed the lower house of Congress but was defeated in the Senate under heavy opposition by religious groups.

The movement behind the legislation came closer than ever to approval and activists promised to continue their campaign to expand women’s reproductive rights.

The new legislation was being introduced as demonstrations marking the International Day of Action for Women’s Health were held in Argentina and other nations. Thousands of people marched through the streets of Buenos Aires chanting and waving flags.

The Argentine movement has gathered international support, with Penelope Cruz and several other actors at the Cannes film festival holding up the green handkerchiefs that symbolize the abortion movement.

“After last year’s rejection, it’s evident that abortion continues to be practiced in terrible conditions and women continue to die,” said Amnesty International Argentina director Mariela Belski.

Argentina now allows abortion only in cases of rape or a risk to a woman’s health. But Argentine women continue to undergo illegal abortions and thousands of women, mostly poor, are hospitalized each year for complications. The health ministry estimates more than 350,000 clandestine abortions are carried out each year, while human rights groups put the number as high as a half million.

The new legislation differs from last year’s because it doesn’t include a section that would have granted doctors the right “to a conscientious objection” to the process. It also would protect women who carry out their own abortions from any sanctions and includes a section focused on sexual education and counseling for women.

The measure would also establish prison terms of three months to one year for health establishments or doctors who “unjustifiably delay,” block or refuse to carry out an elective abortion within the terms of the law. It would set longer prison terms if such actions damaged a woman’s health or caused her death.

“Being a mother should be a choice, not an obligation,” said Jenny Duran, a member of the abortion rights campaign. “We call on lawmakers to do the right thing — listen to women’s voices and respect our right to make our own decisions about our bodies.”

Ruling party lawmaker Daniel Lipovetzky said “it won’t be so easy” to debate a proposal that divides people so much during an election year. “But this is an issue that needs to be debated by society,” he said.

Last year, conservative President Mauricio Macri had promised to sign the legislation if it passed Congress even though he opposes abortion. After it was rejected in the Senate, Macri said the debate would continue.

Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. More recently, the Ni Una Menos, or Not One Less, movement created in Argentina to fight violence against women has spread worldwide.

Efforts to ease or tighten abortion restrictions have repeatedly emerged across Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years as socially conservative countries grapple with shifting views on once-taboo issues and the church continues to lose influence to secularism and a crisis of confidence after an avalanche of clerical sex abuse scandals.

Pope Francis last year denounced abortion as the “white glove” equivalent of Nazi-era eugenics programs and urged families “to accept the children that God gives them.”

The pope recently said abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is seriously ill or likely to die. He also urged doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.

“Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?” the pontiff asked. “Is it licit to hire a hit man to resolve a problem?”

His comments came as the abortion debate is rousing renewed debate in the U.S. with state initiatives seeking to restrict the procedure.

In 2017, Chile became the last country in South America to drop a ban on abortions in all cases, though some countries in Central America still prohibit abortions without exceptions.

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Associated Press journalists Almudena Calatrava, Debora Rey, Paul Byrne and Leo Lavalle contributed to this report.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine activists launched a renewed effort Tuesday seeking to legalize elective abortions in the homeland of Pope Francis after narrowly falling short last year.

Lawmakers said they would introduce a bill that would legalize abortion for pregnancies up to 14 weeks. A similar measure last year passed the lower house of Congress but was defeated in the Senate under heavy opposition by religious groups.

The movement behind the legislation came closer than ever to approval and activists promised to continue their campaign to expand women’s reproductive rights.

The new legislation was being introduced as demonstrations marking the International Day of Action for Women’s Health were held in Argentina and other nations. Thousands of people marched through the streets of Buenos Aires chanting and waving flags.

The Argentine movement has gathered international support, with Penelope Cruz and several other actors at the Cannes film festival holding up the green handkerchiefs that symbolize the abortion movement.

“After last year’s rejection, it’s evident that abortion continues to be practiced in terrible conditions and women continue to die,” said Amnesty International Argentina director Mariela Belski.

Argentina now allows abortion only in cases of rape or a risk to a woman’s health. But Argentine women continue to undergo illegal abortions and thousands of women, mostly poor, are hospitalized each year for complications. The health ministry estimates more than 350,000 clandestine abortions are carried out each year, while human rights groups put the number as high as a half million.

The new legislation differs from last year’s because it doesn’t include a section that would have granted doctors the right “to a conscientious objection” to the process. It also would protect women who carry out their own abortions from any sanctions and includes a section focused on sexual education and counseling for women.

The measure would also establish prison terms of three months to one year for health establishments or doctors who “unjustifiably delay,” block or refuse to carry out an elective abortion within the terms of the law. It would set longer prison terms if such actions damaged a woman’s health or caused her death.

“Being a mother should be a choice, not an obligation,” said Jenny Duran, a member of the abortion rights campaign. “We call on lawmakers to do the right thing — listen to women’s voices and respect our right to make our own decisions about our bodies.”

Ruling party lawmaker Daniel Lipovetzky said “it won’t be so easy” to debate a proposal that divides people so much during an election year. “But this is an issue that needs to be debated by society,” he said.

Last year, conservative President Mauricio Macri had promised to sign the legislation if it passed Congress even though he opposes abortion. After it was rejected in the Senate, Macri said the debate would continue.

Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. More recently, the Ni Una Menos, or Not One Less, movement created in Argentina to fight violence against women has spread worldwide.

Efforts to ease or tighten abortion restrictions have repeatedly emerged across Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years as socially conservative countries grapple with shifting views on once-taboo issues and the church continues to lose influence to secularism and a crisis of confidence after an avalanche of clerical sex abuse scandals.

Pope Francis last year denounced abortion as the “white glove” equivalent of Nazi-era eugenics programs and urged families “to accept the children that God gives them.”

The pope recently said abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is seriously ill or likely to die. He also urged doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.

“Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?” the pontiff asked. “Is it licit to hire a hit man to resolve a problem?”

His comments came as the abortion debate is rousing renewed debate in the U.S. with state initiatives seeking to restrict the procedure.

In 2017, Chile became the last country in South America to drop a ban on abortions in all cases, though some countries in Central America still prohibit abortions without exceptions.

Associated Press journalists Almudena Calatrava, Debora Rey, Paul Byrne and Leo Lavalle contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/da1eb700c40f4b9a806a5abfe9f4c6ec

 

 

Catholic Church’s practices have hints of organized crime

SC Times
Rob Schwegel  St. Joseph

The FBI defines transnational organized crime groups as self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate, wholly or in part, by illegal means and irrespective of geography. They constantly seek to obtain power, influence and monetary gains.

It also states that with few exceptions, TOC groups’ primary goal is economic gain and they will employ an array of lawful and illicit schemes to generate profit.

To combat these groups, the FBI uses the RICO Act to expand criminal accountability for a number of “predicate offenses,” and to expand a single offense across multiple members of a criminal enterprise. Unlike typical investigations, which target a single criminal act, this multi-pronged approach allows the FBI to disrupt or dismantle the entire enterprise.

When we hear “organized crime,” most people will think of the Italian mafia or drug cartels. Another group may finally be added to the list — the Catholic Church.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently released “the results of a two-year grand jury investigation into the widespread sexual abuse of children within six dioceses of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.”

The grand jury identified over 1,000 victims abused by 300 predator priests in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses. Their belief is that the number of victims was in the thousands. The cover-up was massive. It involved the church leaders from top to bottom.

Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, writes, “The grand jury report about Catholic priest abuse in Pennsylvania shows the church is a criminal syndicate … What is clear from this report — as well as the previous grand jury reports from Philadelphia in 2005 and 2011 and Altoona-Johnston in 2016 — is that the Catholic church cannot be and never should have been trusted nor expected to root out pedophiles in their midst, let alone punish them appropriately. Mercy was not extended to victims, but to perpetrators. Rules, it seems, were for the Catholics who continued to sit in the pews, not the ones who stood at the altars.”

Often the worst predator priests would be sent off to a church-owned property to live out their lives at the expense of the church. As seen locally, they could even have a beautiful view of a lake and woods.

After the Pennsylvania grand jury report was released, 15 state attorney generals have contacted Shapiro to gain insight in the workings of such a case. The Justice Department is looking at the sexual abuse of children and transporting them across state lines for illegal purposes, both RICO “predicate offenses.” Six more states have launched investigations. Illinois has identified 690 priests already. It’s time Minnesota joins the list.

The root cause of all of this is money. Had it become known early on that there were so many priests sexually abusing children, donations would have stopped. But as in many other businesses, money is power. Now the church can afford to hire high-priced attorneys and lobbyists to handle bankruptcy proceedings.

Since 2005, 19 dioceses have filed. There are church “leaders” who appear to specialize in taking dioceses into bankruptcy. Evidenced by Bishop Donald Kettler coming to the St. Cloud Diocese (which filed for bankruptcy in February 2018) after leading the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska through bankruptcy.

Many of us have heard the phrase “the insurance is paying.” Well, no insurance is free and think about what happened to your car insurance rates after you or your children had a couple of accidents. So yes, those of us sitting in the pews are paying.

It’s time that the state and federal government investigate the Catholic Church’s handling of the sexual abuse of children and determine whether the church truly fits the definition of a transnational organized crime group and hold it responsible.

This is the opinion of Rob Schwegel, resident of St. Joseph. He was born and raised in a Catholic household and attended Catholic grade school in St. Cloud with his brothers and sisters. His parents were founding members of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and school in St. Cloud and of St. Michael’s Church. He recently retired after 38.5 years in law enforcement. 

 

 

 

Violence against women at ‘epidemic’ levels worldwide, say experts

News

By Aisha Majid and Anne Gulland

The UK government has announced plans to toughen up laws on domestic violence, including tagging perpetrators and forcing them to attend alcohol or addiction treatment programmes.

Anyone breaching these tough new orders imposed by the courts could face jail.

Unveiling the plans, prime minister Theresa May highlighted the toll on the two million women in the UK subject to domestic abuse.

“Domestic abuse takes many forms, from physical and sexual abuse, to controlling and coercive behaviour that isolates victims from their families and has long-term, shattering impacts on their children,” she said.

Continue reading “Violence against women at ‘epidemic’ levels worldwide, say experts”

Catholic genetic engineering through baptism?

Once caught on the shhook or in the net, if things go according to its will, the Vatican Church never lets anyone out of its clutches. It’s not for nothing that the just cited canon from the “Codex Juris Canonici” talks about the indelible character that the candidate for baptism receives.

How we can imagine this indelible character and what effect it allegedly has is described by the Spanish Cardinal of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency: Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco said … baptism … leaves an indelible mark and the person who receives it will always be Catholic. … it is a part of one’s DNA. (www.catholicnewsagency.com, July 9, 2004))

This Vatican doctrine of a kind of Catholic genetic engineering via baptism was described in December, 2010 with nearly the same words by another bishop, Thomas Tobin from the United States. Bishop Tobin asserted:

And there’s really no such thing as a former Catholic. If you were baptized a Catholic, you‘re a Catholic for life – even if you‘ve renounced the title and joined another Church. Your baptism infused your soul with Catholic DNA – it de nes who and what you are. (www.catholic.org)

No, baptism does not “de ne” who and what we are. For God, the Eternal, also gave us a mind. Everyone decides for himself whether he is a slave of the Church or follows Jesus of Nazareth.

The Catholic Church does not provide any scienti c proof for its “genetic engineering.” However, in for- mer times, an indelible mark was the slavemark, which was burned into the skin and could no longer be removed. And just like the serf and his children were formerly lifelong slaves, unless they had been set free by their masters, guratively speaking, until today the Church lays lifelong claim to those baptized, however “for eternity.”

This lifelong usurpation by the Church, which continues beyond death, can be seen by the fact that the Church vehemently refuses to delete from the baptismal registers those who as matured adults have left the Church.

For example, in Germany, you can of cially leave the church institution. But the Church does not acknowledge this. The person’s free will is blatantly ignored, and a deletion from the baptismal registers does not take place.

This is also why the German Cardinal Karl Lehmann emphasized, that theologically and spiritually the Catholic Church knows no such thing as “leaving the Church” … Thus, the old rule de nitely applies: … once a Catholic, always a Catholic. (Radio Vatican March 19, 2011, German edition)

So instead of freedom in the Spirit of God it is: “Divide, bind and rule.”

Thus, this church doctrine is also in stark contrast to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. There, it literally says in article 18:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief … (www.un.org/en)

With their statements of nonterminating, eternally binding baptism, the churches reveal that they are totally indifferent to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and the right to freedom that is anchored in many democraticconstitutions. They want to establish the person’s bondage and his dependency on the Church for life – that is, from the cradle to the grave and even beyond death.

And what this bondage brings with it is clearly expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There it says:
Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to obey and submit to the Church’s leaders, holding them in respect and affection … (No. 1269)

Where did Jesus of Nazareth teach that a person should obey the Church’s leaders and submit to them?
Jesus of Nazareth did not talk about submission – on the contrary, Jesus Himself did not submit to the “leaders” of the religious authorities at that time; nor did He teach his fellowman to do this. Jesus was a man of freedom who did not bind anyone to Himself; nor did He call upon anyone to let himself be bound, patronized, coopted, subjugated or in- doctrinated.

The Vatican Church does the exact opposite of this. The following is laid down in one of its dogmas, de ned as infallible:
If anyone shall say that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress [that is, teacher] of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism – anathema sit. (Neuner/ Roos, No. 442)

Jesus of Nazareth taught neither that the Church is the mother, nor that the pope is the father, for there is only one Father, the heavenly Father, who is also the Father-Mother-God.

Jesus of Nazareth clearly taught: I am the way and the truth and the life. (John 14:6) He did not speak of an institution that is the mother and mistress of all churches.

Passage from the Book: Rehabilitation of the Christ of God

Authors: Kübli, Dieter Potzel, Ulrich Seifert

Vatican responds to Pennsylvania priest abuse scandal with ‘shame and sorrow’

By Elizabeth Zwirz/Fox News

The Vatican responded Thursday to the report of hundreds of Pennsylvania priests abusing children, saying in a statement: “There are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame and sorrow.”

“The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible,” the statement read. “Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.”

More than 1,000 children were allegedly abused by more than 300 “predator priests” and church officials were accused of covering up the allegations, a grand jury’s report released Tuesday said.

Continue reading “Vatican responds to Pennsylvania priest abuse scandal with ‘shame and sorrow’”

SHOULD RELIGION BE A FACTOR FOR ADOPTING A CHILD?

WORLD RELIGION NEWS

 

PROSPECTIVE PARENTS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTION.

 

Adoption is a complicated process. It can take years and involve a multitude of tests, references, and forms. Of all the requirements, one is becoming more controversial, religion. Applicants are asked to list their faith and amount of participation in their local religious center. Some states, like New York, allow birth parents to reject prospective parents based on their religion.

Continue reading “SHOULD RELIGION BE A FACTOR FOR ADOPTING A CHILD?”

Katholische Kirche : Tausende Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch in Australien

ZEITONLINE

Seit 1950 sind in der katholischen Kirche von Australien mindestens 4.440 Kinder sexuell missbraucht worden. Hilfe erhielten die Betroffenen in den seltensten Fällen.

Protest gegen sexuellen Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche © Alessandro Bianchi/ReutersIn Australien sind im Zeitraum von 1950 bis 2009 insgesamt 4.440 Kinder in katholischen Orden und von Priestern missbraucht worden. Das geht aus einer Erhebung der nationalen Missbrauchskommission hervor. Demnach sind in den Orden bis zu 40 Prozent der Mitglieder betroffen. Bei den Priestern sollen rund sieben Prozent in Fälle von sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch verwickelt gewesen sein.

Continue reading “Katholische Kirche : Tausende Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch in Australien”